when we went to west virginia last winter, i set up call forwarding with verizon so calls to the house would be redirected to my cellphone. at some point while we were away, the house phones stopped working. our housesitter reported it to me and asked whether i wanted it fixed, but i said that if it didn’t matter to him, we’d just fix it when we got back. as i suspected, though, it hasn’t mattered to us, either. (it’s actually pleasant not to hear the phone ring in the night.)

so now we’re paying $26 a month just to have calls forwarded to the phone we actually use, which doesn’t seem very smart. still, i didn’t want to completely lose the number glenn’s had for decades, which is in the address books of his friends and family. how to keep it and lose the unused service?

(i debated holding onto our home service for the 911 safety factor, but decided i felt safe enough keeping the cellphone charged. we’re in the suburbs with lots of people around, and worse come to worst and the cellphone towers toppled, i could always start banging on doors to get help.)

i looked into how much it would cost just to have call forwarding, without the home phone service. verizon gave us two options:

  1. just forwarding: $19/month, plus $.10 for each incoming call (whether a message is left or not), with a $30.76 one-time connection charge(?!).
  2. forwarding with voicemail: $26.50/month, $.10 per call, and a $40.76 one-time charge.

as far as i can tell, pots providers are trying to wring every possible cent from their remaining, aging customers before the well dries up completely.

that option patently ridiculous, i looked at some companies which do nothing but this sort of thing, including:

http://parkmyphone.com/
http://numbergarage.com/

at least the prices are a little more reasonable there, but i decided the simplest and cheapest solution is just to port the house number to my cellphone. i use google voice, and don’t actually use the cellphone number (have no idea what it is off the top of my head), so i don’t need to keep it.

i made the call to t-mobile and started the porting process. hopefully, we’ll soon have the same pair of numbers, but will only be paying for a phone which actually works, and will have an extra $26 at the end of the month.

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